Collecting and Processing: Part 2

Continued from Tapping: Part 1.

1. Collecting: So now that you have identified, tapped and waited for the sap to flow its time to collect.  We utilized a 55 gallon food grade plastic drum to store our collected sap in. We collect about every day and funnel the sap into the drum.  Sap can usually store for about 7 days, depending on the temperatures.  With our 19 taps we collect about 20-35 gallons of sap a week.

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2. Boiling: We tried a couple of methods for boiling this year just to see what works the best for our small syrup production.  What we found best was outside wood firing. We also tired pans on the grill. We utilized an old stainless steel container that was once used to weigh milk.  Josh built a 3 sided fire pit with pavers and set the stainless steel pan on top of that.  We collected dead branches  and sticks and others pieces of wood to feed the fire. Boiling sap uses a lot of wood! After it boiled down for about 4-5 hours and the amount was much less we would then transfer it to a stove pot and finish the boil on the kitchen stove.  A candy thermometer is a good idea to ensure that it reaches the proper temperature (about 220 degrees) to turn it into syrup.

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3. Filtering: After you have reached the proper temperature you have syrup!  Next up filtering out the sugar sand. I used two pre-filters inside of 1 synthetic filter.  Sometimes the filters would get clogged up and need to be cleaned before all the syrup was filtered.  Just wash it with warm water, no soap and keep filtering.

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We boiled 4 different times since tapping our trees. What you see above is all the processed syrup we produced. We didn’t know what to expect being our first year but for our family of four I’d say we did good, even with some to share with family! We will see what the weather does this week but we are thinking the sap is done running.  All and all it was such a fun experience and a great little thing to do with the family.  I loved it so much and just may miss it more than I think until next year!

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